And as they continued to ask Him (Jesus), He stood up and said to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her." And once more He bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before Him. Jesus stood up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more." John 8:7-11
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our international ministry centers to write our Sunday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Jesus was teaching in the temple at Jerusalem when suddenly the scribes and Pharisees brought before Him a woman who had been caught in adultery.
They denounced her crime and asked Jesus what to do.
Understand, the woman's accusers were not on some overpowering search for justice. No, they were seeking to test the Savior so that they might add to their list of charges they hoped to bring against Him.
Instead of offering answers, Jesus said to them "Let anyone among you who is without sin be first to throw a stone at her."
What followed must have been a very long period of silence.
Each of the accusers had to search his conscience to find a personal answer to the Savior's question. To their credit, each of them was honest enough to admit he was a sinner and guilty of disobeying the Lord.
After a while Jesus was left alone, with only the woman standing before Him.
Looking at her, the Savior knew the woman had no defense. She was guilty of the crime of which she had been accused. According to the ancient law, she deserved to die. But a death sentence was not what the woman heard the Savior pronounce. No, instead of condemnation, the woman heard words of forgiveness for her guilt and a directive to change her life in the future.
All of this leads me to ask, brothers and sisters what attitude do you adopt when your brother or sister succumbs to sin? Do you condemn others for their sin but expect them to forgive you yours? Do you run away from the presence of our Lord Jesus, or do you cherish and share His forgiving word, which says to every believing, repentant heart:
"Neither do I condemn you. Go your way and from now on do not sin again."
Those words are so easy for us to say. But we all need to remember that for the Lord to forgive us in this way, it was necessary for His Son to live, suffer, die and rise for us. So we might be released from our punishment, our sins were carried by God's Son to the cross in a gracious act of love, which could only come from the Triune God.
THE PRAYER: Lord God, we ask Your forgiveness for refusing to forgive others. We acknowledge that we have often acted against Your will in word and deed. Thank You for sending Your beloved Son Jesus as our Redeemer and Rescuer. In His Holy Name we pray. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Ania Souman of Cameroon, Africa. He is a 48-year-old layman from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cameroon (EELC). In the Cameroon Lutheran Hour office he serves as our audience relations manager. He is married and that union has been blessed with two children.
There is freedom of religion in Cameroon, but radio broadcasts and television airings are limited. Therefore, the most effective method of ministry in this country is a personalized, one-on-one approach, which brings staff and volunteers to the front doors of those to whom they are reaching out. Though this method is hampered by an infrastructure with often impassable roads, it is effective, especially in the northern portion of the country where the influence of Islam has been spreading.
In this country of more than 22 million people on the Gulf of Guinea in central West Africa, Lutheran Hour Ministries-Cameroon employs a wide variety of resources to reach the local population with the message of Jesus Christ. Included among these efforts are radio programming, printed materials, film shows, outdoor rallies, the Internet, text messaging, and hospital and prison visits. This ministry center also uses Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) and Equipping the Saints (ETS) workshops to strengthen the faith of Christians. To reach young women at risk, LHM-Cameroon utilizes an holistic outreach program, where vocational training and the hope they have in Christ are studied and shared. Other initiatives are aimed at youth, giving them guidance from a Christian perspective and helping them to make choices to live effectively in a secular world.
Read about LHM-Cameroon's assistance to victims of social abuse and abandoned teen mothers. You can do this by clicking here.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhm.org/international.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries